City Archives
New Orleans Public Library

Mayor C. Ray Nagin

Date range: 2002-2010
Terms of Access: Available to registered researchers for in-house use, by appointment
Acquisition: Transferred to the City Archives in May, 2010

Historical Note

C. Ray Nagin (Clarence Ray Nagin, Jr.) served as Mayor of New Orleans for two terms, 2002-2010.

Nagin was born in New Orleans on June 11, 1956. In 1978, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Tuskegee University, and after graduation, worked for General Motors in Detroit (1978-1981) and for Associates Corporation in Dallas (1981-1985). In 1985, Nagin returned to New Orleans as controller for Cox New Orleans, the city's cable television franchise, and, in 1989, became vice-president and general manager of Cox Louisiana. In 1994, he received his MBA from Tulane University. While at Cox, Nagin was active in civic issues, serving on the boards of a number of local community non-profits. He was also one of a team of investors who brought the New Orleans Brass minor league hockey franchise to the city.

In his first run for political office, Nagin entered the 2001 race for mayor on a platform focusing on combatting crime and political corruption and on promoting economic development. He led the field of candidates in the first primary and defeated Richard Pennington, Chief of the New Orleans Police Department, in the run-off election. He was elected for a second term in 2006.

Despite efforts early in his first term to fulfill his campaign promises to root out corruption and resurrect New Orleans' image as a business-friendly city, Mayor Nagin's term in office is dominated by the effects of Hurricane Katrina and the failure of the federal levee system and the city's efforts to rebuild following the disaster.

Mayor Nagin left office in May 2010, having reached the two-term limit designated by law. In 2014, Nagin was convicted on twenty of twenty-one charges of wire fraud, bribery, and money laundering related to bribes from city contractors before and after Hurricane Katrina and was sentenced to ten years in federal prison. (At the time of the publication of this finding aid, the sentence awaits appeal.)

Scope and Contents

Records transferred to the City Archives at the end of Mayor Nagin's terms in office include subject/correspondence files from the Mayor's Office Administration (part of the Mayor's Office of Administration and Policy Planning) and digital files (documents, images, and video) from the Mayor's Office of Communications.

Also received at the same time were subject/correspondence files from the Mayor's Office of Intergovernmental Relations. (Since these records begin during the administration of Mayor Nagin's predecessor, Mayor Marc H. Morial, and continued in use through the Nagin administration, they will be described separately, as an addendum to an exisiting series of records from that office). No records were received from other subdivisions of the Mayor's Office.


The records are arranged in the following series:

Return to City Archives Finding Aids and Inventories

Back to Nutrias Home